|2010 Penn State Nittany Lions football|
|Conference||Big Ten Conference|
|Record||7–6 (4–4 Big Ten)|
|Offensive coordinator||Galen Hall (7th season)|
|Defensive coordinator||Tom Bradley (11th season)|
|Home stadium||Beaver Stadium|
|2010 Big Ten Conference football standings|
|No. 14 Michigan State +||7||–||1||11||–||2|
|No. 7 Wisconsin $+||7||–||1||11||–||2|
|No. 5 Ohio State† %||0||–||1||0||–||1|
Rankings from AP Poll
The 2010 Penn State Nittany Lions football team represented the Pennsylvania State University in the 2010 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The team was coached by Joe Paterno and played its home games in Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania. They were members of the Big Ten Conference. Team captains for the season were wide receiver Brett Brackett and defensive tackle Ollie Ogbu.
The Nittany Lions finished the season 7–6, 4–4 in Big Ten play and were invited to the Outback Bowl where they were defeated by Florida 37–24.
The 2009 Penn State Nittany Lions football team had the highest graduation rate among all of the teams on the Associated Press Top 25 poll with 89% of its 2002 enrollees graduating. Miami and Alabama tied for second place with a graduation rate of 75%. The Nittany Lions finished the season with an 11–2 record and won the Lambert-Meadowlands Trophy award to the best team in the ECAC for the 28th time and the second consecutive year. The Nittany Lions completed the season on New Years Day with a 19–17 victory over the LSU Tigers in the Capital One Bowl.
In the 2010 NFL draft, six Nittany Lions (Jared Odrick, Sean Lee, NaVorro Bowman, Andrew Quarless, Mickey Shuler, Jr., and Josh Hull) were drafted, tied with Iowa for most among Big Ten Conference schools. Penn State was also tied for fifth nationally for the highest number of 2010 draft picks.
Penn State was scheduled to play eight of the other ten Big Ten schools, all but Purdue and Wisconsin.
|September 4||12:00 p.m.||Youngstown State*||No. 19||BTN||W 44–14||101,213|
|September 11||7:00 p.m.||at No. 1 Alabama*||No. 18||ESPN||L 3–24||101,821|
|September 18||12:00 p.m.||Kent State*||No. 22||ESPN2||W 24–0||100,610|
|September 25||3:30 p.m.||Temple*||No. 23||BTN||W 22–13||104,840|
|October 2||8:00 p.m.||at No. 18 Iowa||No. 22||ESPN||L 3–24||70,585|
|October 9||12:00 p.m.||Illinois||ESPN2||L 13–33||107,638|
|October 23||12:00 p.m.||at Minnesota||ESPNU||W 33–21||48,479|
|October 30||8:00 p.m.||Michigan||ESPN||W 41–31||108,539|
|November 6||3:30 p.m.||Northwestern||ABC/ESPN2||W 35–21||104,147|
|November 13||3:30 p.m.||at No. 7 Ohio State||ABC/ESPN||L 14–38||105,466|
|November 20||12:00 p.m.||vs. Indiana||BTN||W 41–24||78,790|
|November 27||12:00 p.m.||No. 10 Michigan State||ESPN2||L 22–28||102,649|
|January 1, 2011||1:00 p.m.||vs. Florida*||ABC||L 24–37||60,574|
|2010 Penn State Nittany Lions football team roster|
|#14 Penn State||3||13||14||14||44|
See also: Youngstown State Penguins football
Rob Bolden became the first true freshman to start the season opening game at quarterback for Penn State since Shorty Miller in 1910. Bolden led the Nittany Lions to at 44–14 victory over the Football Championship Subdivision Youngstown State Penguins. He passed for 239 yards and two touchdowns to wide receiver Brett Brackett. Collin Wagner was 3 for 3 in field goals over 40 yards. Chaz Powell returned the second half kickoff for a 100-yard touchdown.
Although Penn State trailed 7–6 much of the half, in all they scored 41 unanswered points and only punted once. On their final drive, Kevin Newsome and Silas Redd were in to put the Nittany Lions on top 44–7. Youngstown State got a final touchdown against reserves to make it 44–14 before Matt McGloin got some playing time near the end.
|#14 Penn State||0||0||0||3||3|
See also: 2010 Alabama Crimson Tide football team
Aided by turnovers, the #1 Crimson Tide defeated the #14 Nittany Lions in front of 101,821 in Tuscaloosa. After both teams exchanged punts, the Crimson Tide scored a touchdown to make it 7–0 with a pass to Julio Jones. Penn State blew a chance to tie the game after Bolden was picked off and the Tide marched downfield to make it 14–0. Alabama would add another field goal and miss one more as the Nittany Lions continued to have trouble finishing off drives. Early in the 4th, Alabama put the game away with a Trent Richardson touchdown dive to go up 24–0, but Penn State finally got on the board with a field goal to make it 24–3, yet the Nittany Lions could not close the gap any further. This game was the first time they had been held to 3 points since losing 13–3 in 2006 at Wisconsin, but avoided their first shutout loss since a 20–0 loss to Michigan in 2001. Penn State also got some playing time for backup Kevin Newsome who completed his first pass of 2010 (his only pass attempt against Youngstown State was an incompletion that led to a pass interference penalty on the Penguins). Despite the loss, the Nittany Lions still have not surrendered more than 24 points in the regular season since the 2007 35–31 loss to Michigan State.
Alabama finished the game with 409 total yards and Trent Richardson finished with 190 rushing yards by himself and a touchdown. Rob Bolden has yet to be sacked this year.
|#20 Penn State||14||0||3||7||24|
Penn State's defense delivered their first shutout since the 2009 victory over the Minnesota Golden Gophers when the Nittany Lions defeated the Kent State Golden Flashes of the Mid-American Conference. Rob Bolden ran for and passed for a touchdown to Devon Smith. Evan Royster ran for his first touchdown of the season but was limited to just 38 yards. The defense garnered two interceptions to help offset the two interceptions thrown by Bolden, who has still not been sacked.
|#20 Penn State||6||3||6||7||22|
See also: 2010 Temple Owls football team
The Nittany Lions handed coach Al Golden's Owls their first loss on the season defeating them 22–13. Collin Wagner converted 5 of 6 field goal attempts and Michael Zordich, Jr. scored the lone Penn State touchdown from his fullback position. Senior Evan Royster had his first 100-yard game of the season in gaining 187 yards on 26 carries. True freshmen quarterback Rob Bolden completed 18 of 28 passes for 224 yards. Justin Brown was the leading Penn State receiver catching 4 throws for 84 yards. The defense gathered three interceptions, one by Nate Stupar and two by Nick Sukay. Pete Massaro recovered a Chester Stewart fumble on the final play of the game.
|#20 Penn State||0||3||0||0||3|
See also: 2010 Iowa Hawkeyes football team
The Penn State rushing offense struggled against the Iowa defense and was held to only 54 yards in total rushing. While the total offensive yards trailed Iowa's by only 48, the Lion's woe in the opponent's redzone continued. Penn State had three trips into the Iowa redzone (at the 2, 1, and 12 yard lines respectively) but ended up with only one field goal. The Nittany Lion defense kept the Iowa offense scoreless in the 2nd half, but the Iowa defense stood up again and scored a touchdown from an interception return in the 4th quarter.
The Nittany Lions were defeated by the Fighting Illini in the homecoming game and the Big Ten home opener. It is the first time that Penn State has lost to Illinois in Happy Valley. The offense gained only 7 first downs and 235 total yards, the seven first downs being the second fewest by Penn State in the Paterno era. Although the special team recovered two Illinois punt-return fumbles deep in the Illini territory, the Lions had to settle for two field goals. Quarterback Rob Bolden delivered an 80-yard touchdown pass to Derek Moye, but also threw an interception, that was returned for an Illinois touchdown, in the 2nd quarter. Losing 7 defensive starters to injuries, and 12 overall contributors the defense collapsed against the Illinois running attack, giving up 282 rushing yards and allowing the Illini to possess the ball for more than 38 minutes.
Penn State won for the first time in the 2010 Big Ten season defeating the Golden Gophers 33–21 in Joe Paterno's first visit to the TCF Bank Stadium. Quarterback Rob Bolden completed 11 of 13 passes for 130 yards including a 21-yard touchdown to Brett Brackett before leaving the game with an apparent concussion. Backup quarterbacks Kevin Newsome and Matthew McGloin took the remainder of the snaps at quarterback with McGloin doing all of the throwing. He completed his first two career touchdown passes to Derek Moye. Evan Royster added to the scoring with a two-yard touchdown run. Colin Wagner kicked one field goal and the defense garnered a safety to complete the scoring in Joe Paterno's 398th career win. Leading 33–14 with the game in hand, the reserves gave up a late Gophers touchdown.
See also: 2010 Michigan Wolverines football team
Joe Paterno got his 399th career win by starting a former walk-on quarterback, Matt McGloin, for the first time. In his first career start, Matt McGloin passed for 250 yards and scored a passing touchdown and a rushing touchdown. Running back Evan Royster surpassed Curt Warner and became the all-time Penn State rushing leader by running 150 yards on 29 carries with 2 touchdowns. Although the Lion's defense could not stop Michigan's Denard Robinson, who posted 190 passing yards and 191 rushing yards, the Penn State offense was able to march down the field with a commanding 10–16 3rd-down efficiency. The Lions controlled the ball for more than 37 minutes and outscored Michigan by a stunning 28–10 in the first half partly due to turnovers, never trailing, and boosted the lead to 31–10 early in the 3rd quarter. Michigan scored a TD but Penn State quickly restored the three touchdown lead. Michigan scored two more TDs, one late in the third, the other midway through the 4th to cut the lead to 7, but Penn State put it away with a field goal, and after stopping Michigan on 4th down, drove all the way to the 1 yard line before taking a knee.
See also: 2010 Northwestern Wildcats football team
After a week of speculation on who should be the starting quarterback, Rob Bolden got the nod after recovering from concussion. However, he was hit hard during one play in the 1st quarter and was relieved by Matt McGloin. Penn State could not stop the Wildcats quarterback Dan Persa in the first half and trailed by 21 points late in the 2nd quarter. After a 91-yard drive in the last minute of the 2nd quarter, the Lions managed to score their first touchdown of the game. Penn State continued the momentum and dominated the opponent in the 2nd half. The Lions scored 4 consecutive touchdowns and shutout Northwestern to win the game from behind. Evan Royster and Silas Redd both ran for over 130 yards and McGloin passed for four touchdowns to Brett Brackett, Nate Cadogan, Derek Moye and Royster. Linebacker Michael Mauti led the Penn State defense with 11 tackles, including 3 tackles for loss. The 35–21 victory marked the 400th career win for head coach Joe Paterno. The win also matched Penn State's biggest come-from-behind victory under Paterno.
|#7 Ohio State||3||0||14||21||38|
A 17-point underdog, the Lions outplayed the Buckeyes in the first half of the game. Matt McGloin led a balanced Penn State offense to score two passing touchdowns. The first touchdown was also Penn State's first passing touchdowns in Ohio Stadium under Joe Paterno. Also, the first 14+ point game at Ohio State since 1978.
Although leading by 11 points in the first half, Penn State was dominated in the second half. The Lions generated only 60 yards of total offense in the last 30 minutes of the game, most of which came on their opening drive of the third quarter. After a 13–18 pass completion rate in the first half, McGloin completed 2 of his 12 pass attempts in the second half and threw two interceptions, both of which were returned by Buckeyes for touchdowns. The Penn State defense also failed to stop Ohio State's running attack, especially after linebacker Mike Mauti left the game with shoulder injury. The Lions defense surrendered 314 rushing yards and Ohio State scored 35 unanswered points to win the game. Despite this, improvements from their first three losses were noted in the deceptive final score, as it was a winnable game for over 50 minutes until the Buckeyes made it 31–14 from a Matt McGloin pick six. This game would be later be vacated by Ohio State due to NCAA violations.
See also: 2010 Indiana Hoosiers football team
Penn State scored two touchdowns in the first two drives of the game and led by 14 points early in the 2nd quarter. However, the Hoosiers managed to tie the game at 24–24 in the 3rd quarter. The Lions broke the tie when Andrew Dailey blocked an Indiana punt and James Van Fleet returned it for a touchdown and scored 17 unanswered points to win the game in the Fedex Field. Matt McGloin passed for 315 yards with 2 touchdowns to Derek Moye and Brett Brackett. Penn State also ran for 171 yards, with running touchdowns from Evan Royster and Silas Redd. Many reserves saw playing time in the second half of the fourth quarter.
|#10 Michigan State||7||7||7||7||28|
Although Penn State generated 396 offensive yards, 65 more than the Spartans in the game, the Lions offense could not score any touchdown in the first 3 quarters and trailed by 18 points after 44 minutes of play. Penn State surged in the 4th quarter and scored 3 touchdowns from Joe Suhey, Evan Royster and Derek Moye. However, the balanced Spartans attack was able to control the ball for more than 34 minutes and scored their 4th touchdown in the 4th quarter. Penn State's final attempt to come from behind fell short after a failed onside kick in the last minute of the game. The Lions also committed 8 penalties, the most in one game this season, with 67 yards.
The game was Penn State's first home loss to Michigan State since 1965, a year before Joe Paterno became the Penn State head coach. Penn State sent off 18 seniors and finished their 2010 regular season with a 7–5 (4–4 Big Ten) record.
The Nittany Lions concluded the 2010–2011 season with a 7–6 record after losing the 2011 Outback Bowl. The Lions were hurt badly by miscues and turnovers, as all Florida touchdowns were set up by Penn State's miscues. The Gators scored a touchdown after blocking a Penn State punt in the 2nd quarter. Quarterback McGloin threw a school-record five interceptions in the game: the 2nd and 3rd were deep in the Penn State territory (15 and 25 yards) and directly led to Florida touchdowns; the 4th interception was returned by the Gators for an 80-yard touchdown and ended Penn State's final hope to win the game.
Senior back Evan Royster led the Lions with 98 rushing and 51 receiving yards, which marked his third straight season with over 1,000 yards. Receiver Derek Moye also recorded 5 catches for 79 yards. Penn State offense outplayed Florida by 71 yards in total offense and controlled the ball for more than 32 minutes in the loss.
After the game, quarterback Rob Bolden and his father requested to transfer from Penn State. However, their request was denied by Joe Paterno later.
On November 29, 2010, three Penn State players were selected to the 2010 All-Big Ten Team in voting by the conference coaches and media. Guard Stefen Wisniewski was again selected to the first team (by coaches) after his 2009 All-Big Ten first team selection. Ollie Ogbu and Evan Royster were second team selections by coaches.
|86th East–West Shrine Game||January 22, 2011||Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium,
|1st Eastham Energy All-Star Game||January 23, 2011||Sun Devil Stadium,
The measures taken by the school included vacating all the Buckeyes' wins from last season, a year in which Ohio State captured a record-tying sixth straight Big Ten title and won an unprecedented seventh straight game over Michigan.